Perhaps some friends introduced you. Maybe you ran into one another on the street or at a party. Whatever the circumstances, you've met someone and you want to get a number: a phone number, a street address, an e-mail address, a business card, or something. You'll need that information if you want to get in touch if plans should change. (Yes, there's always the mutual friend route, but you're not in seventh grade any more — or are you? Plus, if you contact the other person directly, you get a lot more — and more reliable — information.) There are only a limited number of reasons why you might ask a person for a phone number:
- You want to call the person.
- You're not sure if you want to call the person but want the number just in case.
- You know you don't want to call, but you don't want to appear rude.
The following sections give you tips for handling each of these scenarios.
You want to get in touch with the person
When you know you want to call, it's a great idea to ask for the phone number. One of the best ways to approach getting someone else's number is to demonstrate your good faith and to show that you're not Jack or Jacqueline the Ripper:
- Smile, talk softly, and make eye contact.
- Ask for the number in a friendly, non-threatening way. For example, instead of saying, "So, can I have your number?" try something like, "I'd really like to stay in touch. Is there a number where I can reach you?"
Giving out your phone number if you want to is certainly okay, but doing so puts you in the position of waiting for his call. (All this works in reverse for men, too, if it's the woman who asks for the number.) The best way to offset this position of passivity is to ask for his number as well. On the other hand, you can take his and not give yours. Of course, if you have no intention of calling him, don't ask for the number. It's just as nasty for you to ask for his number and not call as it is for him to ask for your number and then not call you.
- Offer your own number. Offering your number is a great way to deflect suspicion by putting the proverbial ball in the other person's court. Offering rather than asking also allows you to be vulnerable first. You can win sensitivity points by saying, "Look, I know these days, a gorgeous woman like you has to be careful, so if you would prefer, I can give you a way to get in touch with me. I'd love to court you the old-fashioned way and call you, but I don't want to make you feel uncomfortable by asking you to give me your number if you're not ready."